Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,516 pages of information and 233,948 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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of Leicester

1988 Benson Shoes owned 82 percent of J. W. Wassall.

1988 Three investors acquired J. W. Wassall, discount shoe retailer, with plans to develop into a diversified group; Hanson took a minority stake and Benson retained a stake in the company; Harris and Sheldon also owned a minority stake[1]

1988 Acquired Evertaut, third largest maker of office and commercial seating, and A. S. Toone, maker of plastic and wood panels, from Harris and Sheldon.[2]

1989 Acquired Hille Ergonom, maker of office and contract seating. Acquired Antler maker of luggage[3]

1990 Acquired Metal Closures Ltd[4]

1995 Made what was thought to be a transformative acquisition of General Cable; already owned Techno Pack, makers of bottling systems, and office furniture businesses[5]

1997 Having turned around the General Cable business, plans were made to sell a majority of that company and return funds to shareholders[6]

1998 Plan to turn the company into an investment/venture capital company[7]. The American DAP, adhesives maker, was the largest part of the group. Acquired TLG and built up stake in BICC[8]

2000 After 2 failures in major take-over bids, the company was acquired by US buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in conjunction with Zumtobel, lighting makers of Austria[9]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, July 25, 1988
  2. The Times, April 10, 1989
  3. The Times, June 15, 1989
  4. The Times, January 24, 1990
  5. The Times, March 18, 1995
  6. The Times March 11, 1997
  7. The Times March 19, 1998
  8. The Times November 13, 1998
  9. The Times, February 12, 2000